Now that the dust has settled, a Black soccer dad reflected on how his encounter on Sunday with deputies could have ended badly for him.
“Anything could have escalated — me going to jail, my kid seeing me like that,” Gerald Jones told ABC News affiliate WJXX-TV on Wednesday.
A white woman dubbed “golfcart Gail” on social media confronted Jones at a youth soccer match in Ponte Vedra, Florida after the dad yelled instructions to his 13-year-old son who was playing. Jones explained to her that he wasn’t screaming at the referee. But she felt intimidated and called the cops.
A witness, Ginger Williams, who is white, recorded the police encounter and posted it to Facebook under the headline, “Soccer while black.” She didn’t know the father before the incident but felt that she couldn’t remain silent given the wave of similar incidents.
Jones believes he was a victim of racial profiling because the field official had previously thrown out a white soccer dad who questioned a referee, but she declined to call the cops on him.
Tears rolled down Jones’ face as he recalled having a conversation with his son about the incident.
“I’m working hard every day. Do everything right. Love everybody. And my son, he’s like, ‘Hey, I just don’t understand it.’ I don’t understand it. Something has to be done. What can be done? I don’t know, but it’s just too much,” Jones said.
Jones believes golfcart Gail owes him an apology. However, Gail’s boss defended her actions, adding that the incident was “sensationalized.”